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Canon G1 X versus Canon G1 X Mark II

The Canon PowerShot G1 X and the Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark II are two enthusiast cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in January 2012 and February 2014. Both the G1X and the G1X Mark II are fixed lens compact cameras that are equipped with an 1.5-inch sensor. The G1X has a resolution of 14.2 megapixel, whereas the G1X Mark II provides 13 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their size, their sensors, their features, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison: Canon G1 X vs Canon G1 X Mark II

The physical size and weight of the Canon G1 X and the Canon G1 X Mark II are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter. You can also use the toggle button to switch to a percentage comparison if you prefer that the measures are being expressed in relative terms (in this case, the camera on the left – the G1X – represents 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).

Snapsort Canon G1 X vs Canon G1 X Mark II
Compare G1X versus G1X Mark II top
Compare G1X and G1X Mark II rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon G1 X Mark II is notably smaller (9 percent) than the Canon G1 X. However, the G1X Mark II is slightly heavier (4 percent) than the G1X. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the G1X nor the G1X Mark II are weather-sealed.

Concerning battery life, the G1X gets 250 shots out of its NB-10L battery, while the G1X Mark II can take 240 images on a single charge of its NB-12L power pack.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, just select a new right or left comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Canon G1 X» 4.6 in 3.2 in 2.6 in 18.8 oz 250 n Jan 2012 799- i
Canon G1 X Mark II« 4.6 in 2.9 in 2.6 in 19.5 oz 240 n Feb 2014 799 i i
Canon T6i« » 5.2 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 19.6 oz 440 n Feb 2015 749- i
Canon G16« » 4.3 in 3.0 in 1.6 in 12.6 oz 360 n Aug 2013 549 i i
Canon T4i« » 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 20.3 oz 440 n Jun 2012 849- i
Canon SX50« » 4.8 in 3.4 in 4.2 in 21.0 oz 315 n Sep 2012 429- i
Canon T3« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 17.5 oz 700 n Feb 2011 449- i
Canon T1i« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 2.4 in 18.3 oz 400 n Mar 2009 799- i
Canon XSi« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 2.4 in 18.5 oz 500 n Jan 2008 799- i
Leica V-LUX 4« » 4.9 in 3.4 in 4.3 in 20.7 oz 540 n Sep 2012 949- i
Leica V-LUX 3« » 4.9 in 3.2 in 3.7 in 19.0 oz 410 n Dec 2011 949- i
Panasonic LX100« » 4.5 in 2.6 in 2.2 in 13.9 oz 300 n Sep 2014 899 i i

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The two cameras under review were launched at the same price and fall into the same market segment. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

 

Sensor comparison: Canon G1 X vs Canon G1 X Mark II

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color depth than smaller pixel-units in a sensor of the same technological generation. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Both cameras under consideration feature an 1.5-inch sensor and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 1.85. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3.

Canon G1 X and Canon G1 X Mark II sensor measures

While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the G1X offers a slightly higher resolution of 14.2 megapixel, compared with 13 MP of the G1X Mark II. This megapixel advantage translates into a 5 percent gain in linear resolution. On the other hand, these sensor specs imply that the G1X has a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 4.30μm versus 4.49μm for the G1X Mark II). Moreover, it should be noted that the G1X Mark II is much more recent (by 2 years and 1 month) than the G1X, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of individual pixels.

G1X versus G1X Mark II MP

For most cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). The Overall DXO ratings for the two cameras under consideration are close, suggesting that they provide similar image quality. The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Canon G1 X» 1.5-inch 14.2 4352 32641080/24p21.710.864460
Canon G1 X Mark II« 1.5-inch 13.0 4160 31201080/30p21.510.858158
Canon T6i« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p22.712.091971
Canon G16« » 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60p21.011.723054
Canon T4i« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.272262
Canon SX50« » 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/24p20.311.217947
Canon T3« » APS-C 12.2 4272 2848720/30p21.911.075562
Canon T1i« » APS-C 15.1 4752 31681080/20p21.711.566363
Canon XSi« » APS-C 12.2 4272 2848-21.910.869261
Leica V-LUX 4« » 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p----
Leica V-LUX 3« » 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p----
Panasonic LX100« » Four Thirds 12.7 4112 30884K/30p22.312.555367

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, but the G1X Mark II provides a faster frame rate than the G1X. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/30p, while the G1X is limited to 1080/24p.

 

Feature comparison: Canon G1 X vs Canon G1 X Mark II

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the G1X has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the G1X Mark II relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon G1 X and Canon G1 X Mark II in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras. The full specs-sheets can be found in the camera manual or, for example, in the dpreview camera hub.

Core Features
  Camera Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec))
Build-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Build-in
Image
Stab
Canon G1 X»optical n 3.0 922 Swivel n 4000 1.9 Y Y
Canon G1 X Mark II«- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 5.2 Y Y
Canon T6i« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n
Canon G16« »optical n 3.0 922 fixed n 4000 2.2 Y Y
Canon T4i« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n
Canon SX50« »202 n 3.0 461 swivel n 2000 2.2 Y Y
Canon T3« »optical n 2.7 230 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n
Canon T1i« »optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 4000 3.4 Y n
Canon XSi« »optical n 3.0 230 fixed n 4000 3.5 Y n
Leica V-LUX 4« »1312 n 3.0 460 swivel n 4000 12.0 Y Y
Leica V-LUX 3« »202 n 3.0 460 swivel n 2000 12.0 Y Y
Panasonic LX100« »2764 n 3.0 921 fixed n 4000 11.0 n Y

Both the G1X and the G1X Mark II have zoom lenses build in. The G1X has a 28-112mm f/2.8-5.8 optic and the G1X Mark II offers a 24-120mm f/2.0-3.9 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the G1X Mark II provides a wider angle of view at the short end, as well as more tele-photo reach at the long end than the G1X. The G1X Mark II offers the faster maximum aperture.

The G1X Mark II is a current model that online retailers, such as amazon, will have in stock. In contrast, the G1X has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the G1X was succeeded by the Canon G1X Mark II.

Review summary: Canon G1 X vs Canon G1 X Mark II

So what is the bottom line? Which of the two cameras – the Canon G1 X or the Canon G1 X Mark II – has the upper hand? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.


Reasons to prefer the Canon PowerShot G1 X:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (14.2 vs 13MP) with a 5% higher linear resolution.
  • Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image framing and settings control.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in January 2012).


Advantages of the Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark II:

  • Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/30p versus 1080/24p).
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 922k dots).
  • Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5.2 vs 1.9 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/2.0 vs f/2.8).
  • Wider view: Has a wider-angle lens that facilitates landscape or interior shots.
  • More tele-reach: Has a longer tele-lens for perspective compression and subject magnification.
  • More modern: Reflects 2 years and 1 month of technical progress since the G1X launch.

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the G1X Mark II is the clear winner of the contest (8 : 3 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera.

G1X 03:08 G1X Mark II

In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras is instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the G1X or the G1X Mark II handle or perform in practice. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased. This is where reviews by experts come in. The following table reports the overall rankings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). The detailed reviews can be accessed by clicking on the site logo in the table header.

Review scores
  Camera cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Canon G1 X»Rec76/1004/54/54.5/5 Jan 2012 799- i
Canon G1 X Mark II«Rec77/1004/54/54.5/5 Feb 2014 799 i i
Canon T6i« »-75/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 749- i
Canon G16« »Rec-4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Aug 2013 549 i i
Canon T4i« »HiRec77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849- i
Canon SX50« »HiRec72/1004.5/5-4.5/5 Sep 2012 429- i
Canon T3« »80/10069/1004/54/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449- i
Canon T1i« »HiRec74/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Mar 2009 799- i
Canon XSi« »HiRecHiRec4/55/54.5/5 Jan 2008 799- i
Leica V-LUX 4« »----- Sep 2012 949- i
Leica V-LUX 3« »----- Dec 2011 949- i
Panasonic LX100« »HiRec85/1005/54/55/5 Sep 2014 899 i i

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings are only valid when refering to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

 

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just make your choice using the following search menu. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored. If the camera you are interested in is not available, kindly get in touch, and I will try to update the database with the necessary infos.

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